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Devotees throng Kamakhya as Navratri celebrations begin

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Oct 3 - Devotees thronged the Kamakhya Temple as the nine-day Navratri celebrations began at the revered shrine, one of the 51 Shaktipeeths in the country, on Sunday.

Unlike the rest of the country, the annual Durga Puja rituals are observed for a fortnight at the temple. It begins on the ninth day of the waning of the moon or �Krsna Navami� and ends on the ninth day of the waxing of the moon or �Shukla Navami� of the sixth Hindu month of �Asvina� (from mid-September to mid-October). The celebration of Durga Puja at Kamakhya Temple is as old at its history.

A significant aspect of the Puja is that there is no idol of Goddess Durga but the rituals are performed in the main sanctum sanctorum, temple doloi Kabindra Sarma told The Assam Tribune. The annual ritual of Kumari Puja is also being observed since yesterday and will continue till Navami.

�Yesterday, we worshipped one Kumari, today two and tomorrow we will worship three Kumaris. In this way we will worship altogether 45 Kumaris up to Navami,� Sarma said.

Acharya Ram Pravesh Puri, a priest who has come all the way from Bihar, said minor girls (generally under 11-12 years of age) are incarnations of the Mother Goddess. �While performing Kumari Puja, a devotee invokes the Goddess in her. In a way it�s worshipping the Goddess,� Acharya Puri said.

The doloi said special arrangements are being made to ensure that devotees do not face any inconvenience. In fact, restrictions have been imposed on the issue of VIP passes during this period. Defence passes have been suspended totally. The temple management has asked the administration to limit the number of VIP passes during this period.

Special pujas are held each day during the fortnight with the doors of the temple closed to devotees during rituals performed by priests selected for the occasion.

�The temple doors will open on Saptami day from 10 am to 4 pm, on Ashtami day from 10.30 am to 2 pm and on Navami day from 10 am to 4 pm,� doloi Sarma said.

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Devotees throng Kamakhya as Navratri celebrations begin

GUWAHATI, Oct 3 - Devotees thronged the Kamakhya Temple as the nine-day Navratri celebrations began at the revered shrine, one of the 51 Shaktipeeths in the country, on Sunday.

Unlike the rest of the country, the annual Durga Puja rituals are observed for a fortnight at the temple. It begins on the ninth day of the waning of the moon or �Krsna Navami� and ends on the ninth day of the waxing of the moon or �Shukla Navami� of the sixth Hindu month of �Asvina� (from mid-September to mid-October). The celebration of Durga Puja at Kamakhya Temple is as old at its history.

A significant aspect of the Puja is that there is no idol of Goddess Durga but the rituals are performed in the main sanctum sanctorum, temple doloi Kabindra Sarma told The Assam Tribune. The annual ritual of Kumari Puja is also being observed since yesterday and will continue till Navami.

�Yesterday, we worshipped one Kumari, today two and tomorrow we will worship three Kumaris. In this way we will worship altogether 45 Kumaris up to Navami,� Sarma said.

Acharya Ram Pravesh Puri, a priest who has come all the way from Bihar, said minor girls (generally under 11-12 years of age) are incarnations of the Mother Goddess. �While performing Kumari Puja, a devotee invokes the Goddess in her. In a way it�s worshipping the Goddess,� Acharya Puri said.

The doloi said special arrangements are being made to ensure that devotees do not face any inconvenience. In fact, restrictions have been imposed on the issue of VIP passes during this period. Defence passes have been suspended totally. The temple management has asked the administration to limit the number of VIP passes during this period.

Special pujas are held each day during the fortnight with the doors of the temple closed to devotees during rituals performed by priests selected for the occasion.

�The temple doors will open on Saptami day from 10 am to 4 pm, on Ashtami day from 10.30 am to 2 pm and on Navami day from 10 am to 4 pm,� doloi Sarma said.